I had a rather unusual experience a few days ago. Wednesday evening (5/30/12) I had an idea for a story. (That's not the unusual part. I frequently get ideas for stories. I'd be in trouble if I didn't.) But the idea didn't arrive fully formed, so I spent Wednesday evening thinking about it. Came home from the day job on Thursday evening, did a little research on background for the story, but it still wasn't ready to go, so I thought about it some more that evening.
Came home from the day job Friday, the story was ready to be written. (Mind you, I don't have a contract at this point--the story is being written on spec.) So I spend a few hours writing a 2000 word short story. The first draft came out pretty clean, and it's laid in the 1632/Ring of Fire story universe, so I went ahead and posted it in the 1632 Slush story submission forum at Bar.Baen.Com.
It's actually pretty late in the evening at this point, so I start winding stuff down to head for the sack. I haven't quite finished when this email pops up from the editor of The Grantville Gazette (the e-magazine that publishes stories laid in the 1632/Ring of Fire universe). She delivers the good news that she likes the story and she's going to buy it.
Okay, so selling a story is always a good thing. Selling a story quickly is an even better thing. But I may have just set a record here. (Remember, the story was being written on spec. It was not a guaranteed sale.) As best I can figure out, it was about 53.5 hours from the initial inspiration for the story to receiving the notice of sale email. That may or may not be a record for selling an on spec story in the general writing universe, but it's definitely a personal best.
Now how am I going to beat that?